Chicago Watertanks Re-Use



Project Description

Speculative re-use of iconic water tanks.


Hundreds of urban rooftops in Chicago, IL, USA


Open for speculation




Chicago Architectural Club, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Department of Environment, and Department of Planning and Development

The Big Issue

Vanishing honey bee populations across the United States and around the world.


Re-purpose the existing stock of Chicago’s water tanks to hold a network of honey bee colonies that can pollinate the city’s parks, yards and green roofs.

Environmental Strategies

Infrastructure re-purposing


Architecture: Karla Sierralta, Brian Strawn

About the Competition

City Hive was submitted to the Chicago Architectural Club’s international competition, Chicago Prize 2005. This competition sought new ideas for the adaptive re-use of the city of Chicago’s historic water tanks. Hundreds of industrial water tanks and structures remain on rooftops all over the city, yet only about 130 are known to be actively in use today. The competition received 182 entries. Jury included: Thom Mayne, Lois Weisberg, Sadhu Johnston, Denise Casalino, Rick Valicenti, Joseph Burns, Martha Thorne, Cynthia Weese, Lynne Warren, Brian Vitale, and Robert Benson.

City Hive was selected to be exhibited in:

“Water Tanks: The Chicago Prize Competition” exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center from November 2005 until February 2006.

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